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Dr Alan Langford

Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader BSc (Hons) Criminology & Forensic Sciences

Department: Applied Sciences

Dr Alan Langford Staffprofile Northumbriauniversity255

Dr Alan Langford is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Applied Sciences.  He studied BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences at Napier Polytechnic, followed by a PhD at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  Post-doctoral research followed at the Forensic Medicine Department, University of Dundee investigating the phenomenon of post-mortem drug redistribution and alternative post-mortem samples to blood for toxicological analysis. He was also authorised as a reporting forensic scientist for the Scottish Courts in routine and criminal casework.  

He then moved to the Lothian & Borders Police Forensic Science Laboratory in Edinburgh as a reporting forensic scientist in the Toxicology section – responsible for the evaluation, interpretation and analysis of biological samples for drugs.  Being classed as an expert witness in this field he has given evidence numerous times in the Scottish Courts.  He was also one of the ‘on-call’ scientists for the analysis of illicit bulk drugs within the Chemistry Unit.  

In 2002 he took up post of Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science at Northumbria University and has led in the development of the forensic cluster of programmes offered.  Primary research interests remain in the area of post-mortem toxicology (drug redistribution, tolerance and interpretation of drugs).

As the use of technology has rapidly expanded in higher education, his current focus predominantly lies in developing novel innovative practice based distance and blended learning materials to enhance the student learning experience including for example:

  • virtual crime scene investigation - interactive theory, tutorials, animation and self-evaluation tools that have been embedded into a police operational case management tool (R2S™) to allow ‘virtual’ processing of crime scene examination
  • e-tutorials for the operation of analytical chemistry instrumentation and interpretation of analytical data


Campus Address

Ellison Building
City Campus
Newcastle upon Tyne

0191 227 3589

Key Publications


Langford, A.M., Dean, J., Reed, R., Holmes, D., Weyers, J & Jones, A. (2010) Practical Skills in Forensic Science, 2nd edn, Pearson Education Ltd,. Essex

Langford, A.M., Bolton, J.R., Carlin, M.G. & Palmer, R. Post-mortem toxicology: A pilot study to evaluate the use of a Bayesian network to assess the likelihood of fatality (2015) Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine 33: 82-90.

Carlin, M.G., Dean, J.R., Langford. A.M., Perry, J.J., Roussel, S and Salle, S. (2017) Ingestion de graines de pavot et dépistage salivaire des opiacés : résultats d’une étude pilote Toxicologie Analyticque et Clinique 29(2) S65-66

Langford, A.M., Dean, J., Reed, R., Holmes, D., Weyers, J & Jones, A. (2018) Practical Skills in Forensic Science, 3rd edn, (in press) Pearson Education Ltd,. Essex


Langford, A.M., Hooper, H., Tudor, J., Padget, K., James, T., Parry, D. and Bretcanu, O. (2014) Investigating the perceptions held by University students of professional scientists and engineers FORREST Conference, Northumbria University

Carlin, M.G., Dean, J.R., Langford, A.M. and Salle, S. (2016) Sowing the (poppy) seeds of doubt? Conference paper presented at TIAFT, Brisbane, Australia.

For a full list of publications please click here.


PhD, BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

  • Post mortem toxicology
  • Technology enhanced learning

NRL Link

Professional Activity

  • Senior Fellow of The Higher Education Academy
  • Technology Enabled Learning Departmental Lead
  • External examiner – University of the West of Scotland


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